First Annual Graduate Student-Faculty Retreat

Graduate students and faculty of the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry will convene in the north Georgia hills for a weekend of science and socializing.

School of Chemistry and Biochemistry to Host Charles L. Liotta Symposium

This year marks Regents Professor Emeritus Charles Liotta’s 50th at Georgia Tech, and the celebration is on.

Grad Students and the Quest for the Origins of Life

Want to learn how life began? You can do that. Chemistry and Biochemistry graduate student Eric Parker tells how.

Seminars & Events

Meeting - Monday, November 3, 2014 - 4:00pm - MoSE G011
Mr. Matthew Kennedy - Georgia Tech
Thesis Defense - Tuesday, November 4, 2014 - 12:00pm - MoSE 4202A
Mr. Galen Craven - Georgia Tech
Thesis Defense - Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - 9:00am - MoSE 3201A
Dr. Keary Engle - California Institute of Technology
Special Seminar - Monday, November 10, 2014 - 4:00pm - MoSE 3201A

Featured Research

Article Title
Research Authors
Offenbacher, A.., Polander, B.., Barry, B..
Journal of Biological Chemistry (2013), Vol. 288, 29056-29068
Miscellaneous Details
National Science Foundation

Photosystem II (PSII) catalyzes the light-induced oxidation of water and production of molecular oxygen.  The Mn4CaO5 cluster of PSII cycles through five sequentially oxidized Sn states.  PsbO is an extrinsic  PSII subunit (purple), which facilitates this water oxidizing cycle.  PsbO can be removed from and reconstituted to the hydrophobic photosystem II reaction center.  Reconstitution of PsbO restores oxygen-evolving activity.  In solution, PsbO exhibits structural malleability, consistent with its identification as an intrinsically disordered protein. We provide evidence in this paper that PsbO serves as a template, which organizes the PSII reaction center.  In addition, we use vibrational spectroscopy and isotope editing of PsbO to demonstrate that PsbO samples a rough conformational landscape, even when bound to its PSII target.  The results show that PsbO undergoes flash-induced hydrogen bonding changes, which are coupled with the water oxidizing cycle.  This paper gives new insight into dynamics in intrinsically disordered proteins and new information concerning the role of PsbO in photosynthetic oxygen evolution.

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